Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Anna's $41M Won't Help Our Workers; {lsquo}I PROMISE JOBS, JOBS, JOBS'

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Anna's $41M Won't Help Our Workers; {lsquo}I PROMISE JOBS, JOBS, JOBS'

Article excerpt

Byline: Janette Young

ELECTRICAL contractor Brett Hansen is proud of his family's 75-year tradition of providing work for locals, and in his own company's 20-year history has never laid off a permanent member of staff.

So with the economic squeeze on, he expects the state government to ensure local jobs come out of major projects in the area.

Now he, and other leading contractors, are asking why top local companies such as Brett Hansen Electrical have not been asked to be part of the $41.1 million package of work at Bundaberg Hospital.

It is a question being asked more widely, with Ian Baldwin of respected company Baldwin Plumbing - established 40 years - saying this week: "We don't expect to get the job, but at least we should have the right to tender for it."

Both businessmen are questioning the tender process delivered by Northbuild in its role as managing contractor for Queensland Health.

Both have previously worked on projects at Bundaberg and other hospitals, and run large operations.

PUBLIC Works Minister Robert Schwarten said yesterday: "Northbuild have invited tenders for a range of trade package work and we understand this includes local industry sub-contractors and suppliers."

But Mr Baldwin said of the hospital project: "The plumber's from out of town. The builder's from out of town."

Mr Hansen added: "The electrical contractor's from out of town."

Mr Baldwin said his workforce was down to 25 now, while Mr Hansen said he had reduced his numbers by seven, down to 13.

Northbuild commercial director Andrew Corrigan defended the situation, saying: "Any sub-contractor who wanted to be involved in the Bundaberg Hospital job could rightly have done so."

Mr Baldwin said he submitted an expression of interest to Northbuild, which has its head office in Brisbane's south, but heard nothing more.

The next thing he knew, the work had been allocated and Northbuild told him the company's expression of interest had not been received. …

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